SID is holding its annual trade show and conference this week, and E-ink is there to show off yet another product to make ereader owners envious. The world's largest epaper manufacturer launched a new 3-color epaper shelf label today called Spectra yellow.
Black, white, and shades of gray are good enough for reading (most) ebooks, but retailers have been craving a better way to catch the eye of consumers. E-ink's first step in this direction, Spectra (red), came out two years ago and enabled retailers to accent a sign with red, white, or black inks, and now the epaper maker is making a new shelf label with yellow inks.
The new Spectra yellow combines black, white, and yellow ink capsules to offer a vibrantly colorful display. When this product hits the market retailers will be able to flash one of the 3 colors and grab the attention of passing consumers.
That's a nifty innovation but it comes at a price. Unlike the screen on your Kindle, the Spectra yellow screen can't display shades of gray or yellow or mix the three colors; instead, it is no more and no less than a 3-color shelf label.
That limitation derives from the technical changes E-ink had to make in order to support the 3 ink colors, and until E-ink finds a way around this issue we're not going to enjoy red or yellow epaper screens on our ereaders.